Dreaming Big
Dreaming Big

My first day in Boulder was not my best. I had left my family and job in a salon behind less than 24 hours ago aft. They waved goodbye to me in the rear view mirror as pulled out of that Chicago alley at midnight. It was Labor Day weekend 1984. I arrived at my new life on The Hill of Boulder Co. at 4 p.m. the next day. My apartment was supposed to be ready to move in and freshly painted. Not only was it not ready, but the C.U boys left behind some bodily fluids on the wall.
Well, the pee pee really upset me and I needed cleaning supplies. I got into my rental station wagon and drove aimlessly looking for grocery store, I managed to make it to the old K-Mart at 28th and Iris, where I found a pay phone. I drove straight through from Illinois to Colorado. I was exhausted, upset and alone in new place for the first time in my life. So, of course I called my mom and cried about my situation. She said “you can always come home” and that’s the line that gave me wherewithal to get off the phone, buy cleaning supplies and get to work.
Somewhere in my exhausted state I thought “ I would like to have my own salon in this beautiful town”. Interestingly, I was very close to where we would move our salon to 25 years later.
After meeting my now husband with the finance degree, The idea of opening a salon didn’t seem so far fetched. We came up with a business plan and called on a For Rent sign in a run-down little strip mall at 2560 Pearl. The rent was low enough that the hair services I currently generated could pay the rent. Not make money but cover the rent. We operated there from April 1989 till April 1992.
We grew our little business and it was time for a nicer place with more parking. In April 1992 We moved to 661 30th St., also known a Williams Village. We were directly across 30th from Williams Village dormitories. We loved that central location, close the University and Martin Acres subdivision. We had many great years there with a great staff.
We always wanted to buy the real estate our salon was in but finding a 1000 square foot spot with other businesses and parking just didn’t exist. In fall of 2006, we were informed that Williams Village and surrounding retail was being sold to developers. All businesses met at Carellis Restaurant to give us the lowdown. The only thing I remembered from the meeting is the rent would be double and we didn’t know were we would operate while it was re-developed.
All through the redevelopment didn’t happen due to the Great Recession, that was the impetus to start looking at other locations and hopefully buy instead of rent. We looked at a place on East Pearl, there was already a business operating there so that meant when their lease was up, we would have to kick them out. Well, were business owner ourselves and we just couldn’t do that besides we never saw ourselves as a downtown salon, we like close parking for our clients.
Next, we looked at a new development in North Boulder on Broadway. It was Uptown Broadway and they had a 1000 square foot spot to buy in a shopping center with parking (a very unique situation). It wasn’t a easy move. We lost a lot of South Boulder Clients and our staff from the old spot were moving on due to changes in their lives. We persevered through the recession and for the first time we hired a staff that really felt like family. We will celebrate 30 years in business in April 2019. It is my success story. Go ahead, dream big.